Ah plugins. Where would we be without them?
Clean Archives, from Geek With Laptop, cleaned up my archives page instantly. I didn’t have to make coding changes, other than to insert the appropriate link on one of my sidebars and the bottom menu. The plugin comes with a configuration menu as well. It will put a link on the topmost menu of your blog, if in fact you use a top menu. Obviously, the plugin can be prettied by means of modifying the .css file. Check it out at the top of my page.